Joni Summary & Study Guide

Joni Eareckson Tada
This Study Guide consists of approximately 29 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Joni.
This section contains 618 words
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Joni Summary & Study Guide Description

Joni Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Joni by Joni Eareckson Tada.

The true story of Joni Eareckson, "Joni," is the account of her life after a tragic diving accident that leaves her as a life-long quadriplegic. Joni (pronounced "Johnny") authored the book with help from writer Joe Musser, sharing her intimate thoughts, physical challenges and psychological trials.

Joni begins life as the youngest child of Johnny and Lindy Eareckson. Joni leads a charmed life—popular, smart and athletic. She represents everything any eighteen-year-old girl might aspire to. After graduation from high school Joni is set to go to college in the fall having earned a partial scholarship at a prestigious college. However, fate steps in when the competitive, athletic and fearless young woman dives into the Chesapeake Bay. Although she does not lose consciousness, Joni lands helpless on her back at the bottom of the bay after ramming her head in a large rock. She cannot move but determines that she must be caught in something—perhaps a fisherman's net.

Just as the immobile Joni is about to run out of air, her sister, Kathy, spots her under the water. Kathy rushes to her and with help pulls her to shore. Before the gravity of Joni's condition is apparent, Kathy chides her younger sister for diving in such a shallow area. Once on shore, Joni is confused—she still cannot move. The orderlies who rush her to the nearby hospital are mute when she asks how long her temporary paralysis will last. The nurses at the hospital are no more help; in fact, Joni finds them cruel and heartless. They cut her new bathing suit off and several hours after admission, shave her head for surgery, her sunlit blond curls falling to the floor beneath. She cannot lift her arms to stop their actions—she is helpless.

Joni grows up in a devout Episcopalian family. Jesus Christ has always been part of the Eareckson's life; however, just before her accident, Joni feels empty and uncertain. She begins to argue with her parents and allow her grades to drop, neither of which has ever happened before. Her attitude is negative and demanding. Joni takes stock of herself and does not like what she sees. She turns to the Lord and fervently prays that God will do something to change her and turn her life around. Soon after those prayers, Joni has the tragic diving accident. At first she wonders if she had received her answer; later, she knows that she did.

Joni relates every painful and depressing phase towards final acceptance of the new, unwanted life inflicted upon her. Paralleling this journey is her quest in faith. Despite her devout Christian upbringing, Joni—as anyone would—immediately following the accident is not able to understand how the God she loves could allow her life to experience such a miserable turn. Yet, just as her tenacity enables her to cope and live with her physical condition, she continues to cling to her faith and eventually is able to trust in the Lord again and grow in His love.

The miraculous journey that Joni succeeds in is an inspiration to one and all. After the tough hurdle of accepting her condition as permanent, Joni finds a way to become a role model to not only others in similar physical states but to other young people who are trying to find a path to God. Joni is a legend in her own time. The book ends with Joni guest-speaking before a Christian youth group. She is positive and upbeat. She tells her astonished young audience that she is truly happy and fulfilled in life. Finding God was the purpose of her harrowing journey.

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This section contains 618 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Joni Study Guide
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